'A Gift for Putin': Czech e-shop sells tanks and grenades to support Ukrainian army

A new campaign aims to finance Ukrainian army with equipment and weapons against Russian aggression via a humourous pseudo e-shop.

Kathrin Yaromich

Written by Kathrin Yaromich Published on 04.05.2022 14:05:00 (updated on 04.05.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Czech Republic has been among the most active countries in supporting the Ukrainian military with donations and sales of weapons and ammunition, including shipments of Soviet-era tanks, multiple rocket launchers, howitzers, infantry fighting vehicles, and anti-aircraft weapons.

At the end of April, the total value of military assistance provided by the Czech Republic reached almost CZK 3 billion.

Now a new campaign in support of Ukraine, an e-shop called 'A Gift for Putin' is reimagining the concept of military aid. Instead of making a donation to an NGO or waiting until governments agree on weapon support, it urges supporters to help strengthen the Ukrainian military via an online purchase of equipment and weapons.

The zbraneproukrajinu.cz website offers a variety of items to purchase. From medical equipment or ammunition worth hundreds of crowns to firearms selling for thousands of crowns and a tank with a price tag of CZK 30 million.

On Wednesday, Czech entrepreneur Dalibor Dědek, a creator of the initiative, said at a press briefing that he considers support for the Ukrainian army to be crucial to helping the population in the country, writes iDnes.cz.

"We have a fragile bubble of peace here, we can enjoy spring, but in Ukraine people are hiding in cellars and shelters," Dědek said describing what led him to set up the campaign. "There is help with evacuations, humanitarian corridors, but their [Ukrainians'] only hope is the Ukrainian army, so we want to support them with this," he added.

The briefing was also attended by Ukrainian Ambassador Yevhen Perebyjnis who thanked Dědek for promoting what he called a unique project. The Ukrainian Embassy's original fundraiser has been running since February 26. The campaign has gone viral in the Czech Republic and internationally, allowing people to contribute to Ukraine’s defense.

The initiative published a short video clip on Tuesday, presumably to demonstrate the ease with which one can donate. In it, a woman is listening to news about the war in Ukraine and atrocities committed by Russian soldiers. As she sits down for breakfast she casually purchases a bullet-proof vest via her mobile.

Dědek specified that the e-shop is rather intended to give an idea of ​​how expensive the equipment is than to actually allow people to click and buy a grenade or rifle. Through individual offers, donors can send money directly to the account of the embassy, ​​which will buy real weapons in cooperation with the Ministry of Defense according to the needs of the Ukrainian army. 

According to Dědek, the idea for the fictitious e-shop reflects the Czech sense of humor which it has preserved as a nation even in times of crisis.

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